Southeast
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FL - Florida to Require Sea Level Studies for Coastal Public Construction Projects

Florida's new Public Financing of Construction law requires contractors on publicly funded coastal projects to study how those projects could be impacted by sea level rise before starting work.

The Florida DEP's rule will use a "systematic, interdisciplinary and scientifically accepted approach" and assess flooding, inundation and wave-action damage risks over the proposed structure's expected life or 50 years, whichever is less. The assessment must take into account, among other things:

  • Potential local sea level rise and increased storm risk during the expected life of the structure or 50 years, whichever is less.
  • The mean average annual chance of substantial flood damage over the expected life of the structure or 50 years, whichever is less.
  • Design and site alternatives and the risks associated with each.

An analysis included in the bill, which was signed into law earlier this month by Gov. Ron DeSantis, shows that according to two studies, sea level rise by 2100 will be between 2.6 feet and 6.8 feet in Southeast Florida and between 2 feet and 8.5 feet in the Tampa Bay region.

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